March 2014 Monthly Forecast

Posted 28 February 2014
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PEACEMAKING, PEACEKEEPING AND PEACEBUILDING

Peacebuilding

Expected Council Action

In March, the Council will be briefed on peacebuilding in the aftermath of conflict. In a 20 December 2012 presidential statement, the Council requested the Secretariat to provide this oral briefing as an update on progress in the UN’s peacebuilding efforts, including women’s participation in peacebuilding, as well as a final report by December 2014 (S/PRST/2012/29).

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson will brief the Council. Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Brazil), the recently elected chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), and possibly the head of UNDP, Helen Clark, will also address members.

No outcome is expected.

Key Recent Developments

The Council debated the PBC’s sixth annual report on 25 April 2013 (S/2013/63). The following day it held an interactive dialogue with the chairs of the PBC’s six country configurations. Earlier, at the behest of Pakistan, the Council adopted resolution 2086 on peacekeeping on 21 January 2013 highlighting peacebuilding activities in peacekeeping operations.

The PBC adopted a declaration on women’s economic empowerment for post-conflict recovery on 26 September (PBC/7/OC/3) during a high-level meeting convened with UN Women. UN Women, the Peacebuilding Support Office and the UN Development Program (UNDP) concluded an indicative baseline study in November 2013, measuring the amount of UN-managed peacebuilding funds allocated for empowering women and gender equality. The study looked at 334 UNDP projects in six countries during 2012. It found that funding totalled only six percent, well below the 15 percent target that the Secretary-General set in his Seven-Point Action Plan (S/2010/466).

The Secretary-General’s latest report on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict was published 6 January (S/2014/5). The initiative was introduced in 2011 to improve UN capacity for institution-building in post-conflict countries and to more rapidly deploy civilian experts for peacebuilding. The report noted that the UN was abandoning its automated matching system to identify international civilian expertise. It was also decided that this would be the final report on the civilian capacity initiative.

Recent Developments in Country-Specific Configurations

A first-of-its-kind assessment mission by the PBC to review its engagement with Sierra Leone was conducted from 18-22 November 2013 as requested in resolution 2097. The mission’s final report recommended a lighter PBC role in Sierra Leone.

Patriota visited Guinea-Bissau from 20-24 January to begin planning a strategy for PBC reengagement with Guinea-Bissau after its activities there were suspended following the 12 April 2012 coup. Briefing the Council on 26 February, Patriota stated that the configuration envisions supporting Guinea-Bissau to complete a full democratic cycle, coordinating security sector reform and promoting food security and rural development.

Ambassador Mohammed Loulichiki (Morocco) was officially appointed chair of the Central African Republic (CAR) configuration by the PBC Organizational Committee on 29 January 2014. The previous chair, Ambassador Jan Grauls (Belgium), resigned in June 2012.

Ambassador Staffan Tillander (Sweden), the Liberia configuration chair, visited Liberia from 2-7 February and met with President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and other government officials and stakeholders, during which they discussed progress on three priorities of engagement (reconciliation, security and justice), as well as land and natural-resource issues.

Ambassador Paul Seger (Switzerland) visited Burundi from 13-17 January. The visit was one of Seger’s regularly scheduled trips but occurred in the context of the government’s request to close the UN Office in Burundi. In Seger’s view, as expressed in his report on the trip (S/2014/57) and Council briefing on 28 January, the international community should continue to closely follow developments in Burundi.

Key Issues

The briefing will update the Council on UN peacebuilding efforts, likely by reporting on examples from the field in inclusivity, institution-building and sustained international support, areas which the Secretary-General highlighted in his 8 October 2012 report on peacebuilding in the aftermath of conflict (S/2012/746).

Progress on the Secretary-General’s Seven Point Action Plan to increase women’s participation in peacebuilding is another issue.

The outbreak of civil war in South Sudan and the recurrence of conflict in the CAR will be on members’ minds. Renewal of conflict in these countries comes despite the UN Mission in South Sudan’s strong peacebuilding mandate and the CAR’s inclusion on the PBC’s agenda since 2007.

Options

The Council could:

  • receive the briefing and take no action (a final report on peacebuilding is due from the Secretary-General in December, when it may adopt a new presidential statement); or
  • issue a press statement welcoming the briefing and reiterating support for UN peacebuilding efforts, including strengthening women’s involvement.

Council Dynamics

According to the 20 December 2012 presidential statement, this briefing should have been held last December. France, however, asked if Luxembourg could preside over the meeting during its presidency, as Luxembourg, which chairs the PBC Guinea configuration, is very active in peacebuilding. Ambassador Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein (Jordan), who joined the Council in January, was formerly chair of the Liberia configuration and brings additional peacebuilding experience.

The Secretary-General’s Seven-Point Action plan to enhance women’s participation in peacebuilding was never endorsed by the Council. Russia has prevented it from being referenced in Council documents.

UN Documents on Peacebuilding 

Security Council Presidential Statement
20 December 2012 S/PRST/2012/29 This presidential statement emphasised the importance of inclusivity in national peacebuilding processes.
Secretary-General’s Reports
6 January 2014 S/2014/5 This was Secretary-General’s report on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict.
8 October 2012 S/2012/746 This was the Secretary-General’s recent report on peacebuilding in the aftermath of conflict.
7 September 2010 S/2010/466 This report was on women and peacebuilding.
Peacebuilding Commission Documents
29 January 2013 S/2013/63 This was the sixth annual PBC report.
26 September 2013 PBC/7/OC/3 This was PBC declaration on women’s economic empowerment for post conflict recovery.